When the Dead start breaking out the new tunes in heavy rotation, it does kind of bring the mood down. Everyone doesn't quite know how to grove to it, they pay more attention instead of twirling around and singing to themselves. I think you're right about that.
I like 88 as much as the rest of the 80's years. The above shows are reason enough to love 88 for me!
Look inside your self, grasshoppa, the answer is there.